All Climate Funds in a Single Autonomous Board is the best response to keep World Bank out of Climate Finance
Dhaka, 9th October 2011 – Today, eighteen civil society rights group led by EquityBD formed a human chain and rally in front of the national press club and demanded that the government must be aware of the trap of conspiracy and corruption as they urged that all climate funds be part of a single autonomous board. The group also demanded that the World Bank not be given a role in climate finance. The group said this is the right solution as the government is already being publicly questioned regarding transparency in climate fund disbursement.
The group consisted of APON, ASOW, CSRL, On Line Knowledge Society, EquityBD, Lead Trust, NCCB, BUP, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, SIRAC Bangladesh, Humanity Watch, DCI, PRAN, SDO, SUPRO, and VOICE. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD; Other speakers in the rally were Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB, Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Centre, Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Fakhrul Ferdous of DCI, Mohin Ahmed of Bangaldesh Krishok Federation, and Farhana Akther of SUPRO.
Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Center said that government is already being criticized due to lack of transparency on climate fund disbursement. He added that there is hardly any information on what the World Bank is doing with the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund. He urged the government to reconsider merging the two funds (BCCTF and BCCRF) into a single fund management and form an autonomous board like PKSF.
Fokrul Ferdous of DCI said there is an international conspiracy involved with the government maintaining such questionable fund management so that the World Bank will have the means and space to engage in corruption and also to justify its claim in managing the fund. He added that this strengthens the leverage of the World Bank to impose the conditionality of opening the market for multi-national companies and also making the country more indebted.
Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD criticized the creation of two climate fund boards, which he termed as mere Government Ownership. He proposed an alternative term of "Democratic Ownership" where the board consists of members of parliaments who are from the opposition, representatives from the media, local governments and climate victims. He suggested that government abide with the following measures for its disbursed projects – (i) corruption risk assessment, (ii) information disclosure policy, (iii) complaint response mechanism and (iv) participation index at all implementation levels.